Our Temple Sinai Staff
Ben came to Temple Sinai after serving as a synagogue executive director in Lancaster and Harrisburg, PA. Originally from the Philadelphia suburbs, Ben has worked for BBYO, NFTY and Hillel. Ben also spent close to 18 years managing an entertainment business that provides educational and motivational programs for all ages.
Ben is a bit of a technology geek, so you will often find him looking at the latest gadgets, apps and programs that will enhance the lives of the Temple Sinai staff and membership.
Ben is married to Amanda, and together they have an eleven year old daughter named Mila.
Ben Wachstein , Executive Director
Shira has been the Director of Education at Temple Sinai since the summer of 2014. She holds an undergraduate degree in History and Jewish Studies from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master’s Degree in Jewish Education from Gratz College. Shira also holds a graduate certificate in Israel Education from The George Washington University.
A seasoned educator with extensive experience in both formal and experiential Jewish education, Shira has served as a Religious School teacher, Youth Director, Camp Counselor, and Youth Group advisor. Shira has held various professional roles at the Jewish Community High of Gratz College (JCHS), where she served as the Associate Director. Prior to working at JCHS, Shira was the Youth Director at Temple Emunah in Lexington, MA.
Shira is also a passionate Israel educator and has participated in extensive professional development in the field. Shira and her family – husband, Cobi and children, Rena, Ari, and Asher reside in Upper Dublin.
Shira Weissbach, Director of Education
Sydnie Ciment, Early Childhood Education Director
Sydnie began her career over 10 years ago teaching religious school in college. What was supposed to be a job to add experience to her resume turned out to be so much more. It sparked her passion for Jewish education and engaging Jewish youth. She has taught classes on social action, Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), social justice and Jewish cooking to name a few. From her teaching she went on to run a successful youth program at a Reform synagogue where she oversaw the youth activities and high holiday teen programming . In addition she has worked as the program assistant for the Satell Teen Fellowship and at Gratz College teaching and overseeing their student council.
Most recently, Sydnie has found her excitement for early childhood education and young family engagement. Contributing that spark for Jewish education to our youngest community members is what helps strengthen their bond to Jewish community life and a lifelong connection to Judaism.
Sydnie is a graduate of Temple University with a BA in liberal arts and a focus on Jewish Studies. She is a state certified secondary education social studies teacher through Arcadia University and completed her student teaching at Cheltenham High School and spent many years subbing at Perelman Jewish Days School teaching kindergarten through 5th grade, English as a second language, and learning support.
Sydnie's other passions include cooking, art, being outside in nature and spending time with her family, husband Jared and daughter Sloane.
Marcy Lyons Gohen, Accounting Manager
Marcy has worked in the Accounting Department since the spring of 2002, after serving on the Executive Committee as Treasurer for almost two years. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Drexel University and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Prior to working here, Marcy worked for a local accounting firm for almost twenty years. She and her husband Mark live in Dresher, and enjoy spending time with their eight grandchildren.
Ellen has her Bachelor Degree in Accounting and has worked in the Temple Sinai Accounting Office since 2012 and also works as an assistant to our Preschool Director .She enjoys arriving every day at the same time as many of the preschool children, they bring so much joy and wonder into the building!It is also so relaxing walking in as the Minyan is concluding their service with a prayer. Ellen lives with her husband and dog in Upper Moreland and has two adult children.She has enjoyed meeting and getting to know the members of Temple Sinai.
Ellen McGrother, Accounting
Edy Israel has worked in the Jewish Community in different capacities since her college days. Although she loved giving tours of historic Philadelphia dressed as Betsy Ross, she felt her work here was much more fulfilling and began working in the Temple Sinai Office in 2009. The favorite part of her day is seeing the smiling preschoolers walk down the hall and wave hello (although she does love to say hi and help anyone that needs her assistance).
Edy is a New England transplant and lives in Bucks County with her husband and their 2 young daughters.